The latest round of interventions from Washington DC by Ms Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and a senior adviser to the Biden administration has been met with huge “frustration” by the UK Government. It follows a concerted effort by senior Democrats to attack the UK Government including threats over blocking a UK/US trade deal over efforts by Boris Johnson’s Government to resolve problems with the hated Northern Ireland Protocol which is now threatening peace in Northern Ireland.
The Democrats, who have always opposed Brexit, have continued to side with the EU even though Brussels has refused to negotiate to resolve the crisis.
A senior UK Government source told Express.coo.uk that Pelosi and other Democrats are “fundamentally ignorant of the situation in Northern Ireland.”
Adding that Pelosi is “blinded by her assertion that the UK is ‘occupying NI’ – which she has said verbatim before.”
The source, who has been close to the talks, went on: “Many of them [the Democrats] have an emotional connection to Ireland, rather than an academic or policy or even political interest, so they parrot the Irish Government position on things with no interrogation or recognition of nuances – not true of the administration but certainly true elsewhere.
The source added that the issue with US opposition to changes to the Protocol “improved slightly after all the visits and meetings [Northern Ireland Secretary] Brandon [Lewis] has done over last couple of years on a range of Northern Irish issues (including legacy) – more of them at least acknowledge that there are always at least two sides to these things now.
“Pelosi obviously not one of them! She gets wound up by Sinn Fein and off she goes
“This was the motivation for her ‘intervention’ this week – apparently. Some robust lobbying from Sinn Fein.”
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This followed Derek Chollet, the most senior adviser to US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, claiming that British efforts to maintain peace in Northern Ireland risks Western unity.
He told the BBC that “a big fight between the UK and the EU” was “the last thing” Washington wanted.
He added: “We want to see this issue resolved and we want to see the temperature lowered and no unilateral acts.”
But the attacks were described as “factually incorrect” by senior Government sources.
One senior Whitehall source said: “The Protocol is undermining the Good Friday Agreement, it’s not upholding it (despite that having been the original objective).”
And pointing out that Pelosi could not even get the name of the Agreement correct, the source added: “It’s also – the ‘Belfast/Good Friday Agreement’ not ‘the accords’”
With Foreign Secretary Liz Truss negotiating with the EU on the Protocol, a Foreign Office source said: “Not one of our proposals would mean a hard border – they provide guarantees to ensure there is no physical infrastructure ever between North and South.
“And we don’t want to discard the Protocol, only change bits of it.”
And dismissing claims that it would destroy Western unity against Russia, the source asked “Just by saying we’re focused on protecting the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and defending the sovereignty and integrity of our country? We can’t let the situation drag on, we need to act.”
Fiormer Brexit minister David Jones added: “Nancy Pelosi doesn’t understand that the Good Friday Agreement is undermined by the Protocol, not preserved by it, as the Nobel Prize winner Lord Trimble has made clear.
“It has changed the constitutional status of North Ireland without the consent of its people. Nancy Pelosi would do better to urge the EU to talk sensibly about finding ways to fix the Protocol, which all parties agree is not working. With goodwill, that could be achieved. But so far, the EU has sadly shown precious little goodwill.”